November 22, 2019

Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts presents Reveal Party, a Unique Interactive Sound Installation

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts at Princeton University will present a sound installation by artist and Princeton Arts Fellow Jess Rowland in the Hurley Gallery at the Lewis Arts complex. The interactive exhibition will be open November 23 through January 3 with an opening reception on November 26 at 5:00 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Reveal Party transforms the gallery space into one large connected audio circuit with the generation of sound created by visitors to the exhibition interacting with objects and elements created by Rowland. As the artist suggests, “Sound lives in everything. There is a power in keeping your sound potent; and an equal power in allowing it to be revealed.” This exhibit provides an extended space in which this magic of sound – sound as a spiritual power – can live in a room-sized musical composition of objects.

abstract lines and colors of an audio circuit

A close-up view of one of the objects that is part of a gallery-wide circuit creating surprising hidden sounds in the installation by artist Jess Rowland. Photo courtesy of Jess Rowland

Jess Rowland is a sound artist, musician and composer and the 2018-20 Peter B. Lewis Princeton Arts Fellow. Much of her work explores the relationship between technologies, popular culture and “other absurdities,” investigating “the weirdness of reality and how we all deal with it.” In addition to an active art practice, she has taught sound art at The School of Visual Arts in New York and continues to present her work internationally. She received her M.F.A. from the University of California Berkeley where she worked in Adrian Freed’s Research Lab at the Center for New Music and Audio Technology, developing techniques for embedded sound and flexible speaker arrays. She describes her work as continually aiming to reconcile the world of art and the world of science. She has been affiliated with neuroscience labs at New York University and elsewhere, researching music perception, and she has published in the fields of auditory neurosciences and music technologies. Recent installations and performances include the New York Electronic Arts Festival, Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, Berkeley Art Museum, Dartmouth Hood Museum, Harvestworks, and Spectrum NYC.

The Arts Fellows program provides support for early-career artists who have demonstrated both extraordinary promise and a record of achievement in their fields with the opportunity to further their work while teaching within a liberal arts context. Funded in part by the Mellon Foundation, David E. Kelley Society of Fellows in the Arts, and the Maurice R. Greenberg Scholarship Fund, Fellows are selected for a two-year residency to teach a course each semester or, in lieu of a course, to undertake an artistic assignment that deeply engages undergraduate students, such as directing a play, conducting a music ensemble, or choreographing a dance piece. Fellows are expected to be active members of the University’s intellectual and artistic community while in residence; in return, they are provided the resources and spaces necessary to their work.

As a Princeton Arts Fellow Rowland has twice taught the course “Sound Art” and is currently teaching the course “Sound/Material/Mind,” both of which explore sound as an artistic, expressive medium in expansive and innovative ways. In the spring, she will co-teach a Princeton Atelier course, “The Understor(e)y: Suspension, Movement, Space” with choreographer Rebecca Lazier, visual artist Janet Echelman, and engineer Sigrid Adriaenssens. The course and the work to be created through it is inspired by the activity in the understory, the hovering layer beneath a forest’s canopy. The faculty and students will create textile sculpture installations that will activate, and be activated by, movement and sound, explore historical works that merge visual, choreographic, and sonic forms, and examine intersections of architecture, engineering, and artistic practices.

The Hurley Gallery is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. except for dates the Lewis Arts complex will be closed for holidays: November 28-30 and December 25-January 1.

To learn more about Princeton’s Program in Visual Arts, and the more than 100 other performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings and lectures presented each year at the Lewis Center visit

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